Last night was my “official” book launch party. It was complete with food, beverages, books for sales, and a signing. It was really all I’d hoped it would be. So lucky that so many people came out. I sold all the books on hand and took orders for many more. All in all I would rate it a success!
When I first published in September, I wasn’t sure if I would plan something like this. However, my husband and some very supportive friends thought it was not only important for the book but would be a special night for me. They were right. As an indie book author, I knew I would have a hard time arranging a signing or launch at one of our local bookstores – especially since a few had publicly taken a stance against Amazon. Location was going to be an issue but a wonderful friend opened her home to me. Of course, this is not the usual type of location but by planning it this way, I was able to hold the type of launch I wanted to have – professional but celebratory! I have been to many book signings and readings and I love them but they are normally low-key. I figured, as long as I’m bucking with tradition anyway, why not do something different? The place was settled.
I invited friends, family, book clubs I’ve spoken with, fellow writers, editors I’ve worked with, neighbors, local entertainment writers, etc. I encouraged people to bring friends. I wanted to get the word out about the book. I used invitations as well as word of mouth and this worked well for me. I had enough of an idea of expected attendees that I wouldn’t run short of food or drinks but there were also strangers I could not have known were coming. I will admit I made one error on the invitations. Some of the guests (not all) interpreted the launch as a “girls only” event – perhaps due to my book club appearances but that was not my intention. However, it was a great turnout and I was grateful.
I sold out of books – all the books I had with me which was a decent number but not too many just in case I didn’t sell them all (slightly embarrassing?) The sales, of course, is the best part because my sole goal is for people to read my book. I had ordered books through CreateSpace and those sales helped to offset the cost of the launch. Although I did sell out (which I had hoped would happen), I had order sheets available for those who weren’t able to purchase at the launch. I sold almost as many through orders as I did in physical books. These books, however, will be ordered directly from Amazon because, as every author knows, I get no credit for the books I buy directly from CreateSpace on Amazon’s sales rank algorithms. I count this as win-win.
My wonderful cover artist created bookmarks for the launch and I gave them out with all the books and to any guest who ordered a book. I think they look great and are also perfect as promotional material for events in the future. He also created a large poster of the cover which greeted guests when they arrived. I felt these things kept the focus on the book as a big event (which it is to me!).
I cannot say whether the launch will result in additional sales beyond those from last night, however, the timing was good and many people bought or ordered books as Christmas presents. So, whether or not even more sales are generated, quite a few more people will be holding copies of my book in the next several weeks. Deciding to hold a launch or book signing when you are an independent author is a big decision. There are expenses but how great those are depends on how you plan your event. I tried to pick and choose how I would spend money and was happy to offset some of the major costs with sales. Either way, the night was memorable and I will never forget it.
A Guilty Mind is now “officially” launched.